Private Equity


The current private equity market landscape involves continually increasing competition, rising purchase multiples, unprecedented amounts of dry powder, and the search for Alpha compared to global public equities. Despite the challenging environment, GPs remain focused on maintaining their private equity allocations, as LPs have generated positive cash flows on their private equity investments for eight consecutive years. Meanwhile, mega buyout funds are seeking innovative ways to deploy capital. For example, over the past 18 months, KKR, Blackstone, and Carlyle have each raised private equity funds in Asia in excess of $7 billion.

As robust demand for private equity continues, in what ways can buyout firms deliver value in a crowded market?

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Christopher Turner: ‘85

Warburg Pincus | Chief Administrative Officer

Mr. Turner joined Warburg Pincus in 2005 to lead the capital markets effort and is currently the firm’s Chief Administrative Officer. In this role, he manages the firm’s Investment Support Group comprising Capital Markets, Communications, Government Affairs/ESG, Information Technology Strategy & Assessment, Shared Services, and Leadership/Organizational Effectiveness. Mr. Turner also oversees the firm’s human resources management, internal IT services, and other staff functions and is a member of the firm’s Executive Management Group. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Mr. Turner worked as a Managing Director for Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Turner is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has lectured at Columbia Business School and the Wharton School on Private Equity and Corporate Finance.

Mr. Turner graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A. in finance from The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

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Seth Plattus: ‘83

Cerberus Capital Management | Chief Administrative Officer

Mr. Plattus joined Cerberus in 1994 as one the firm’s first investment professionals focused on distressed debt and private equity investing. After more than a decade of investing, he transitioned his primary focus to the daily management of the firm’s activities, including overseeing capital raising and structuring of the firm’s funds and managed accounts. Mr. Plattus currently chairs Cerberus’ Capital Formation Committee, which manages the firm’s partnerships with many of the world’s most respected institutional investors. Under his leadership, Cerberus has successfully raised more than $50 billion for its funds, accounts, and co-investments. Mr. Plattus currently serves, as a director for a number of Cerberus’ portfolio companies, both public and private.

 Prior to joining Cerberus, Mr. Plattus was an investment banker for The Blackstone Group from 1990 to 1994, where he analyzed and negotiated principal investments and represented debtors and creditors committees in restructurings and reorganizations. From 1986 to 1990, he worked as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and restructurings.

Mr. Plattus graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Economics from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  

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Jason Scheir: ‘02

Apollo Global Management | Managing Director, Head of U.S. Hybrid Value Fund

Mr. Scheir is the U.S. Head of Apollo Global Management’s Hybrid Value Fund, and is a member of the Global Illiquid Credit Investment Committee.

Before joining Apollo, Mr. Scheir worked for Tailwind Capital, a middle market private equity firm. Prior to Tailwind, he worked for Rothschild’s Restructuring Group and Mergers & Acquisitions Group.  

He currently serves on the board of directors of Genco Shipping & Trading and Ridgeback Resources.

Mr. Scheir graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics from Cornell University and earned his M.B.A. with honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Susan Schnabel: ‘83

aPriori Capital Partners | Co-Founder & Co-Managing Partner

 Ms. Schnabel is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of aPriori Capital Partners, an independent leveraged buyout fund advisor created in connection with the spin-off of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners from Credit Suisse in 2014.

Prior to forming aPriori Capital, Ms. Schnabel worked at Credit Suisse as Co-Head of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. In this role, she was responsible for originating new investments and monitoring existing investments and served on its Investment Committee.

Previously, Ms. Schnabel served as Chief Financial Officer of PetSmart (PETM). Prior to that role, Ms. Schnabel held various positions within the DLJ’s Investment Bank, specializing in public and private high yield debt, equity financings, and mergers and acquisitions advisory for a variety of industries including retail and consumer, energy, telecommunications and technology. Previously, Ms. Schnabel worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert, in Beverly Hills, as an associate.

Ms. Schnabel has served on the boards of Neiman Marcus, STR Holdings (NYSE:STRI), Rockwood Specialties (NYSE:ROC) and Shoppers Drug Mart (TO: SDM). She serves on the Cornell University Council, Harvard Business School Alumni Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Music Center Foundation.

Ms. Schnabel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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John Kyles: ‘00 (MBA)

Portfolio Advisors | Managing Director, Private Equity

Mr. Kyles is a Managing Director for Portfolio Advisors’ Private Equity division who serves as a voting member of several of the firm’s Investment Committees and serves as an Advisory Board member of six private equity partnerships. Prior to joining Portfolio Advisors in 2009, Mr. Kyles worked as a Director for Citigroup where he spent eight years in the Private Equity Placements Group. While at Citigroup, Mr. Kyles structured and executed private placements totaling over $6 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries.

Mr. Kyles graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University, with a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

While studying at Cornell, Mr. Kyles was a Park Fellow and a co-founder of BR Ventures, a student-managed venture capital fund.

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Moderator: David Cynn: ‘91

Lightyear Capital | Partner

With over 20 years of financial services experience, Mr. Cynn currently works as a Partner for Lightyear Capital, where he leads the firm's specialty finance efforts. In this role, Mr. Cynn is primarily responsible for sourcing and managing investments across a range of financial services sectors.

Previously Mr. Cynn worked for Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisition Department, where he worked as a Merger and Acquisitions Specialist focusing on complex transactions including numerous leveraged buy-outs and cross-border deals. Prior to that role he served as a Mergers and Acquisitions Associate for HSBC’s Investment Banking Group. Mr. Cynn began his career at Chase Manhattan within the bank’s Management Development Program.

Mr. Cynn serves on the Board of Paradigm Management Services, Baker Tanks, Neff Holdings Corp, Telmar Network Technology, New Flyer Industries, IOU Financial Inc., and Renegard, LLC.

Mr. Cynn graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A., with high honors, from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.